Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Running Barefoot

In the news the past few days has been the results of a study that shows that barefoot running is better for your feet. Barefoot runners have a different foot strike (a fancy way of saying they land differently each step) than people with supportive shoes.

Here is National Geographic's take on it.

This shouldn't be a surprise - humans would have been unshod or at best shod in minimally supportive footwear for tens of thousands of years. Advanced shoe technology is a recent development.

I'm glad this is coming around. For years I've walked around the house in at most, socks, and outside barefoot in any reasonable weather (not snowing or icy or below freezing). You do have problems at first - every little pebble and stick stings. But in a realitively short time you can get to the point where rocks, sticks, etc. don't bother you at all. You have to watch for glass, animal leavings, bones, etc. but you should be doing that even with shoes.

One anecdotal bit I noticed is that my feet, ankles, and knees feel better in no shoes than non-supportive shoes, and in non-supportive shoes than cross-trainers. So in the warmer months I just abandon footwear outside of working or driving. I'm glad to see people coming around!

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